Friday, April 17, 2015

Walking to Visit the Members - Carole's Post

 Rare it is when we can drive to a member's home. Occasionally we can get quite close, but usually we park the car and walk the last 100 yards or more.  What roads the Malawians think we can drive and what we decide to drive are of two very different mindsets.  Since we can usually walk as fast as, if not faster, than George can drive on many of the worst roads, we just prefer to hoof it.

These are some typical sights.
Clotheslines are strung everywhere and it is actually quite dangerous when there is nothing on them.  Being invisible, they are so low that decapitation is a real possibility.
Many, many little markets are tucked in the neighborhoods.  I frequently pick up some fresh vegetables, especially tomatoes, at the end of the day.
Usipa, the small dried fish similar to sardines (and a few larger varieties), harvested in Lake Malawi, are ubiquitous.
They are eaten as a relish with nsima, the national dish.
                        Small shops of all kinds - food,
and anything that can be sold, are tucked among the houses.  In fact, the little shops selling assorted goods are called "tuck shops".

Some vendors come to you.

An especially effective sign to show the way to the hospital.

On this day, we are walking up to visit the Makawas, who are living in temporary housing since their house was destroyed in the storm.  Gertrude, their daughter, saw us coming so she ran down the path with her friends,and took my hand to walk with me the rest of the way.  We have been reading the Book of Mormon with the Brother and Sister Makawa.

A view of how the path widens as we walk to the bottom of the hill.

This was taken earlier in the year when we are obviously going through a maize field.  It was green and beautiful then, but then fields now are brown and overgrown with weeds.

One day we decided to check out Brother Magombo's house, which is really high up in Chilobwe.  His house had largely been destroyed in the storm and we wanted to take pictures before the branch helped him to rebuild.
First, we had to walk through Chilobwe market before heading up the hill.
The first part of the way was easy.  We had only been there one time but we knew it would be a bit more confusing, the higher we walked.

 Okay, do we walk this way or that?  You can tell that our little observer is wondering about our indecision.
We veered off the path far enough that we finally asked some neighbors who pointed the way.  When we arrived at the Magambo's, no one was at home but we took some photos of the house.

The front and

the back.  
As with many of our walks, we gathered a little entourage that was delighted when George offered to take their photo.
This lovely lady was looking on and wanted her picture taken too, with a specific background in mind.  
You might not think so, but she was delighted with the photo!

The children also accompanied us on the way down.  We stopped to take this picture with all the fired bricks, just waiting for a house to be rebuilt.
Yes, kids are the same everywhere!

What was really interesting about the way down was the fascinating walkway.  I loved the resemblance to something we would see in Italy - the Roman roads with the bigger flat stones on top.  Some Malawians had been very ambitious. 

Such a pleasure to walk on!

 This time we had a new collection of children and
a young man asked to join them. Fondness is on the lower left and Jamaica is the pleasant young man.

So today, we were off again to discover some new neighborhoods and make appointments with members of the Blantyre 2nd branch.  We asked the missionaries who are serving in the branch to show us around.
We picked them up at their flat in the afternoon.

When we arrived, look what was out front!

I'm glad no one decided to make a competition out of it or Elder Beal might have been done for!

Elder Dlamini is from Swaziland and Elder Doig from Canada.  Their guard let us out of the gate so

I had to get a picture of that hat and he was happy to show it off.

It was so enjoyable to get to know the new neighborhood of Kampala where so many members live within short walks of another.  The school day must have just ended and three private schools are represented in this snapshot.

Trying to keep up...

We were shaking hands, spelling names, taking notes, and writing down signposts as fast we could so that we could find all the houses when we come back on our own next week.  Remember - no street names or addresses.

It's a good thing that George is confident and usually successful at finding places the second time around.  He is the right companion for me!  And thank you, Elders, for being patient with the "seniors."